The archives

Sweden has had archives for ever, well ok not for ever but almost for ever. This is the building where the archives for the county are housed. They go back for ever, well ok not quite....

Two of my colleagues started work here in connection with the closing down of campus Härnösand and today Anna nd I went calling. We found them happy, well established and enjoying the new work - digitalising the legal records from the year dot onwards. There is about another 15 years worth of work at the pace things are being converted into searchable databases.

I saw the poshest scanner I've ever encountered, big enough to take the massive legal ledgers. The people we met there were all calm, friendly, helpful and happy. Whtever they are taking, I think we could all do with some!!

I attended a "cultural lunch" where mingle and conversation, short presentations and music mixed with lunch. Our town supports culture in various forms, and ranks third most generous in Sweden. Wow! There's always a lot more going on that I have time to take part in, that much is certain.

One of the regular cultural events is the Wednesday evening film studio. Today we saw a Danish film, Land of Mine (Under sanden). It was really tense and very hard work - about young German prisoners of war, being forced to clear mine's from the Danish beaches after WW2.

In real life, half of them died from the work they had to do, and due to the harsh conditions they lived under. There were a lot of (understandable but horrible) aggressions throughout the film, and I didn't watch big super-tense chunks of it. I would recommend it anyhow! Well made, and sadly probably very realistic. There were lighter moments, and there were times of redemption and compassion.

I visited northern Norway for work a decade or so ago and was shown the shack that their German POWs lived in. They froze, starved and were beaten to death in large numbers. Again, considering the treatment the Norwegians endured at the hands of the Nazis it is not hard to see why people were so cruel.

But, these were very young POWs, brought to Norway and Denmark to work. Whatever faults we might find with the EU, we have at least stopped doing this sort of thing to each other.... More or less. How we treat non-Europeans is another matter...

We are now going to watch Skyfall, the Bond film we recorded from the TV. Pretend violence and destruction - instead of the very real sort that the first film showed - and is happening in more than one place as I type. Time to put my head in a different sort of sand for a while.

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